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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Sudan web appeal hits record high
Sudanese refugees
The UN says food, water and medicines are running low
Donations to a UK appeal to help the Sudan humanitarian crisis are flooding in over the web.

The Disasters Emergency Committee organising the appeal said internet donations had reached a record 1m.

The appeal was launched by actress Joanna Lumley last week.

It aims to help up to one million black Africans who have been driven from their homes in Darfur by Arab militias, allegedly backed by the Sudanese government.

Net generosity

Celebrities such as the BBC's Natasha Kaplinsky, Michael Buerk and Joanna Lumley made personal appeals last Tuesday, highlighting the plight of Sudanese forced to flee their homes due to violence in Darfur.

WHAT DONATIONS COULD BUY
15 - plastic sheeting, a water container and purification tablets
44 - two months' food for a family of five
84 - two kits including a mosquito net, blanket and kitchen utensils
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said that within seconds of the appeal being broadcast, its website was jammed with online donations.

"The online community has been making a fantastic contribution to the appeal," said Brendan Gormley, DEC chief executive.

"And average donations will easily feed a family of five for two months."

The DEC said web donations were averaging 20% above those made by phone, with the appeal on track to reach 15m.

Supplies low

The UN has described Darfur as the world's worst humanitarian crisis and says food, water and medicines are running low in the refugee camps.

Pro-government Arab militias - Janjaweed - are accused of ethnic cleansing and even genocide against the region's black African population.

But the Khartoum government denies that the Darfur conflict amounts to genocide and rejects claims that it is backing the Arab militias.

The DEC is organising the appeal on behalf of British aid charities.

These are the British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International UK, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.

To make a donation visit the DEC website at www.dec.org.uk, telephone 0870 60 60 900 or send a cheque/postal order made payable to: DEC Sudan Emergency, PO BOX 999, London EC3.


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